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NHL 2K10

 

 

SCORE: 82

 

NHL 2K10 

 

Celebrating it’s 10th Anniversary this year is 2K Sports’ NHL 2K franchise. NHL 2K10 celebrates everything that has made the franchise a success. The development team for the NHL 2K franchise, Visual Concepts, was aiming to take the game to a new level with this year’s Anniversary edition.

From the very beginning of each game, players will see the dedication 2K had to the visual presentation of the game. As the camera circles the arena with light shows, cheers and team introductions, there is a new since of authenticity for the presentation of the hockey experience. The game introductions actually got me excited to play the games – which is the way it should be. The in-game graphics in NHL 2K10 are fantastic, and raised the standard for the franchise. From player models to tight animations, and even picture-in-picture displays, 2K10 delivers on Visual Concepts promise to bring more accurate and realistic graphics.

Unfortunately, that authenticity in the visual presentation does not translate into the gameplay as effectively. The players seem to be slow and not as responsive as they should. For example, when using the speed burst control, it never feels like the player actually speeds up like a hockey player would when in a game situation. Although the game speed (and almost any other setting imaginable) can be changed, they did not seem to change the in-game action as much as I would have liked. Even with improved A.I and in game strategy, the game never got into a rhythm. That being said, I appreciate 2K’s effort in giving the gamers so much editing power in the gameplay. With a little improvement in the flow of the game, next year’s offering should be much better.

NHL 2K10 delivers the standard modes we are accustomed too, as well as enhanced online play. Gamers can create online teams, play in leagues and join tournaments. One aspect of the game I really enjoyed was the Zamboni driving experience. During the intermission there is an option to give the player a chance to drive the Zamboni. That’s right! Every fan’s dream comes true when you have to race the clock to clean the ice.  Another mode I like, especially in a hockey game, is the local multiplayer mode. There is nothing like having a friend over and working together strategically to defeat the opponent. And with the new presentation and visuals, 2K10 should be blast when playing together with friends.

The play-by-play commentary is solid. The announcers do a fine job of calling the action and providing some helpful insight. The soundtrack is not one of my favorite (think punk / rock) on a sports game, but like most games the music can be turned off if desired.

NHL 2K10, as with any hockey game, does include the on ice fighting. As previously mentioned, 2K does allow changes in the gameplay, and fighting is one of those options. The fighting can be adjusted so fights occur a lot or not at all. If this is a concern for parents, it can be edited by going into the gameplay settings. If fighting is left on, be prepared to see some violent images (less than a boxing game).

There are lessons to be learned from NHL 2K10. Parents can play with their kids and discuss competition with and without fighting. The importance of teamwork is also something that can be learned when playing hockey. NHL 2K10 is definitely taking the 2K series in the right direction. With a few gameplay modifications next year’s installment will be even better. I thoroughly enjoyed playing this video game, and would recommend it to any sports video game fan.
- Alan

 

Graphics: 85%
Sound: 78%
Replay/Extras: 88%
Gameplay: 79%
Family Friendly Factor: 82%
System: Xbox 360/Playstation 3
Publisher: 2K Sports
Rating: 'E10+' for Everyone 10+
{Mild Violence}

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